Against Our Nature

In The Final Recession I described what I think is fundamentally at issue in our contemporary breakdown of democracy in America. It’s not the various issues that parties and individuals can’t seem to agree on, or that government has gotten too large for our own good. Instead, I argued, the current crisis – brought toContinue reading “Against Our Nature”

Refresh and Restart

Back in the late 1980s Bill Moyers conducted a long interview with the scholar of world mythology Joseph Campbell, published under the title The Power of Myth. In their conversation Campbell invoked the up-and-coming personal computer as a metaphor for understanding myth and religion. Campbell suggested that we might think of the various religions as differentContinue reading “Refresh and Restart”

Whole Picture, Whole Brain

I’ll start with a proposition, and then work it out in more detail below: The meaning of life is an ongoing construction project involving two parallel processes, communion and knowledge. Communion refers to an experience of no-separation, where your existence is felt as not just connected to but as “one with” the rest of it.Continue reading “Whole Picture, Whole Brain”

Looking At and Looking Through

When you stand before a Monet painting of water lilies, you might choose to analyze it according to its physical dimensions, the composition and pigment of the paint, the particular arrangement of highlight and shadow, and how close Monet came to a realistic depiction of actual water lilies. At the conclusion of your analysis youContinue reading “Looking At and Looking Through”

The Human Path

Human beings are on an evolutionary arc, progressing individually and as a species toward a ‘self-actualized’ fulfillment of our unique nature. With all the criticisms I have already directed against the personal ego – that conceited blowhard who craves validation, praise, glory, and immortality – it might come as a surprise for me to acknowledge it as the legitimateContinue reading “The Human Path”

A Spirituality of Religion

The separation of spirituality from religion is a best-selling topic these days, particularly as religion continues to impress us with its tendencies toward conviction, bigotry, and violence – and complacency. More and more people are either dropping out or quietly declaring themselves “spiritual but not religious.” In previous posts I have tried to make a caseContinue reading “A Spirituality of Religion”

A Matter of Perspective

Just now human beings are blustering and posturing across oceans and national borders, provoking each other to acts of violence in the name of their respective (and disrespected) gods. Whether a god goes by the name of Allah or Yahweh or Security or Prosperity or Supremacy, its devotees appear ready and willing to commit every conceivableContinue reading “A Matter of Perspective”

Creative Authority

A friend in an engagement community that I weekly attend asked recently, “What, exactly, goes into this idea of ‘creative authority’?” – an idea (or ideal, really) that occupies a strategic position in the theory of human fulfillment that I’ve been working to clarify in a conversation on post-theism. It is critically important that post-theism not be definedContinue reading “Creative Authority”

Our Quest for Oneness

Despite the fact that so much of religion tends to divide and antagonize (including terrorize), I’ve been exploring its essential function as a unifying force in human culture. We take as our starting point the root meaning of the word “religion” itself, deriving from the Latin religare, to link back or reconnect. Whatever distortions or corruptionsContinue reading “Our Quest for Oneness”

Excavating Christmas

Let’s get out our shovels. We are searching for the true meaning of Christmas – this season that rushes upon us and is as quickly gone again.  Our quest will proceed on the analogy of an archeological dig. Before even breaking the surface, one layer in the meaning of Christmas is commercial. Earlier each year,Continue reading “Excavating Christmas”